John’s last Two Letters – 2 John, 3 John

John’s second epistle could be addressed to a particular woman, but the “elect lady” more likely refers to a particular congregation (the phrase “some of your children” could go either way, but more likely means many offspring of members there). He tells them that he has much to say that he would rather say face to face. But there seems to be some urgency in warning them of deceivers – false prophets – that are obviously much of a problem for the 1st century church.

His third epistle has John referring to himself as “the elder,” as he writes kind words for Gaius. John praises them for their good treatment of the brothers that came to them, and encourages their continued support. Here he speaks of false teachers again and mentions Diotrephes by name.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 John 5, 2 John, 3 John, Rev 1, Rev 2


some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.






Letter From “the Elder” – 2 John

The traditional site of the tomb of John_the_A...

The traditional site of the tomb of John_the_Apostle — one of Jesus’ twelve apostles in the ancient city of Ephesus, an important religious centre of early Christianity. Ephesus is today located in Turkey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John’s second epistle is the shortest book of the New Testament, consisting of only one chapter that is composed of only 13 verses. John opens the letter this way:

“The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever…”

Here, John refers to himself as an elder, just as Peter did (1 Peter 5:1). Some speculate that he uses the term “the elder” because at the time of this writing, he is the only one of the apostles left alive. That is certainly a possibility.

John is not addressing a particular woman in this letter. The lady that he refers to is likely a particular church in the region where he is living – possibly Ephesus, and its children are other congregations that have been started in other cities as a result of the work being done there. The word “church” in Greek is feminine in gender, and John refers to it as t”the bride” elsewhere in his writings.

John’s purpose in writing the letter is to urge them to love one another, and particularly, as in all three of his epistles, to warn against false doctrines. The appearance on the scene of gnosticism has likely become a big concern for the apostle, and his pastoral role is to help guard them against such things.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at

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